Concordia to Serve Free-Range Turkeys
Nov 09, 2010Dining Services at Concordia College is going to be carving into a different kind of turkey this Thanksgiving. Twelve of the 23 turkeys that will be served at Anderson Common’s annual Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 11 are not only locally produced, but were raised free-range.
Kelsey Velo, a Concordia alum, and her siblings wanted to find a way to raise turkeys on their family’s poultry farm in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Each of the turkeys produced by the Velos grew up out in the open air in their own pasture and were hand-fed all-natural, vegetarian feed.
“When my brother, sister and I decided to continue the family business, we knew we wanted to introduce new and innovative ideas to the poultry farm. We found out that local free range turkey is relatively hard to come by. This being the case, people who wish to support and promote ethical business practices are forced to buy free range poultry that has been imported from across the country. We wanted to give people a local free-range option,” said Velo.
Janet Paul Rice, associate director of Dining Services, says even though the free-range birds were more expensive, Dining Services wanted to purchase as many as possible in order to support the Velos and offer a local option at Thanksgiving dinner. Dining Services incorporates sustainable and local food options whenever they are available.
“Our mission at Concordia is not only to feed and nourish our students, but to educate them on the impact of food choices. Free-range turkeys are generally better cared for by the farmer, are more sustainable and are typically healthier,” said Rice.
In the future, the Velos plan on increasing the size of their flock and developing a website where they can showcase more information about their farm. Dining Services hopes to continue to be able to offer the Velo’s free-range turkey every Thanksgiving.